At the Massachusetts Bar Foundation’s recent Annual Meeting, Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was honored with the Great Friend of Justice Award. Over 150 MBF Fellows, grantees and friends attended the event, held on March 17, at the Social Law Library in the John Adams Courthouse in Boston.
The MBF’s Great Friend of Justice Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to justice, consistent with the MBF’s values and mission of increasing access to justice in the state.
Ralph D. Gants became the 37th Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in July 2014 when he was sworn in by Gov. Deval Patrick. Before joining the SJC, he served for more than eleven years as an Associate Justice of the Mass. Superior Court, and was Administrative Justice of the Superior Court’s Business Litigation Session in 2008. In addition to his distinguished judicial career, Chief Justice Gants has taught at Harvard Law School, New England Law | Boston, and Northeastern University School of Law. He received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from New England Law | Boston in 2015, and the University of Massachusetts School of Law - Dartmouth in 2016. He was chair of the SJC Indigency Committee, and from 2010–2015 and co-chaired the Mass. Access to Justice Commission. He currently chairs the SJC’s Standing Committee on Model Jury Instructions on Homicide.
At the business meeting held that same evening, the MBF also elected the following officers and trustees:
- President Janet F. Aserkoff, Rappaport, Aserkoff & Gelles, Boston
- Vice President Harvey Weiner, Peabody & Arnold, LLP, Rockport
- Treasurer Richard J. Grahn, National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc., Mattapoisett
- Secretary Angela McConney Scheepers, Division of Administrative Law Appeals, Boston
- Hon. Megan H. Christopher, Suffolk Probate and Family Court, Boston
- Marguerite T. Grant, Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, Canton
- Melissa F. Langa, Bove & Langa PC, Boston
- Dennis M. Lindgren*, Pierce & Mandell PC, Boston
- Angela C. McConney Scheepers*, Division of Administrative Law Appeals, Boston
* Indicates second term
The MBF also inducted twenty-six new Life members into the MBF Society of Fellows, all of whom successfully completed generous pledges made to advance the MBF’s mission of increasing access to justice.